Irv Lee (Irvin Lee) Mentoring the UK Private Pilot

Irv Lee - Higherplane Aviation Training ltd

Mentoring the Private Pilot flying in the UK, EASA/NPPL Testing, Renewals & Validations, PPL Masterclasses, Radio Training & Testing, South African Vacation & Licensing advice, Consultancy and much more besides . . . . .

this page is undergoing constant and progressive update from Dec 31st for a few days, massive text changes to cater for leaving EASA.
In the meantime, you may find what you need to know about post-EASA regulations in the "one-sheet catch up" pdf in the tabs on the left.
Pre Preflight Checklist:
EASA licence or not, the pre flying tips are the same, and lots of EASA/National confusions are sorted out with this personal checklist, the ideal safety addition to your flight bag. It also solves a big problem for friends/relatives who never know what to get you as a present. Get them to click on the link for details and ordering. Orders usually delivered in under 2 working days, often next day.
PPL Masterclasses:
We managed to hold three PPL Masterclasses in 2020 (2 at Compton Abbas, 1 at Sherburn) before the Covid19 virus stopped meetings. Supplement your post-virus flying when the time comes with an enjoyable day of deconfusion and clarity. Masterclasses follow demand, so the more pilots ask for one in their area, the quicker one will be held there when meeting restrictions cease. Click on the PPL Masterclass tab to see content, attendee feedback, and register interest.

Warning Update in Progress.

Welcome to Irv Lee's Frequently Asked (EASA) Questions

All answers, unless detailed otherwise in the answer (Q&A assume the pilot posing the question:
  • is a General Aviation ('GA') pilot, licence issued by the UK CAA.
  • flies "S.E.P" (Land based) aircraft (the replacement / successor to the old 'Group A').
  • has a UK issued PPL with SEP(land) rating, [b]with no extra ratings or privileges, unless indicated otherwise.[/b]
  • flies 'EASA' aircraft (that is, aircraft with an EASA ARC (these include all the normal rental aircraft), or an EASA Permit (not all that common).

Disclaimer: These answers have no legal authority and could be superceded or become wrong or redundant at any time. Use these answers only as a base starting point for checking with the relevant authorities. Note that with the many changes brought in by the new 2016 ANO and EASA NCO in August 2016, these answers are currently being checked for detailed accuracy. Also, changes are hitting UK GA so fast and frequently that this free site can easily be slightly behind the change curve with one or two rules.

For much more detailed information on the combinations of licences/ratings/medicals see the item on the menu on the left for these combinations.
The EASA Qs and the EASA

  1. What can I do in EASA aircraft with my current licence and medical?
    Well, it depends what you have now, and there are so many combinations that there is a separate page for these, see 'Licence Medical Combos' on the left. HOWEVER, from April 8th 2020, you must have an EASA licence (eg: EASA PPL or EASA LAPL) to fly an EASA aircraft, even in the UK. The 'combos' page explains what an EASA aircraft is. Note the LAPL is sub-ICAO, so its use is only valid in EASA States or those recognising the LAPL (eg: Jersey). The NPPL or UK non-EASA PPL is no longer valid in an EASA Certified Aircraft or EASA Permit to Fly Aircraft. (Yes, not many pilots realise that there are such things as EASA Permits to Fly, these are not the same an National Permits to Fly, and the EASA Permit to Fly makes the aircraft an EASA aircraft.)

  2. As a private pilot with a national (non-EASA) licence, should I apply for a LAPL (Light Aircraft Pilot Licence) or an EASA PPL?
    You have to be careful at the moment due to Brexit and the unanswered question of whether the UK will pay to stay in EASA after the end of 2020. Because the UK has agreed to comply with all EASA rules and processes until the end of 2020, you NOW need an EASA licence to fly an EASA aircraft. But suppose you only have an NPPL-SSEA or a UK non-EASA PPL-SEP ... these were in the UK in EASA aircraft until 8th April 2020, but not now.
    So what are the issues now, in 2020? Suppose you have an SSEA rating issued prior to April 8th 2018 (EASA won't convert an SSEA rating issued from that date) or a UK non-EASA PPL with SEP. Due to the virus situation, no-one is flying at the moment with no 'restart' date, AND we don't know if the UK will be part of EASA come January 1st 2021. If you want to be 100% sure of flying an EASA aircraft whatever the UK decides, and you don't mind the paperwork or fees (which is not excessive), perhaps you want to convert, but do it by making the choice with knowledge, not blindly.
    Against conversion: If you convert now (just paperwork and money, as long as your ratings are valid), you might be grounded for a while due to the virus situation, and then autumn bad weather, and then find on Jan 1st 2021 that we are no longer in EASA and your (new) EASA licence is completely unnecessary - or we may be members of EASA and you do need it. We simply don't know!
    For Conversion: You might want an EASA licence now whilst you can get one, for future use to be based or flying in Europe, by conversion now whilst still possible then transfer the new EASA licence to another country for future use. Note you do NOT give up your national licence by doing this, so you would end up with two licences.
    Should you wish to convert to an EASA licence, the form needed for most conversions is the CAA form 1104 available from conversion form to EASA. - many certified copies of current paperwork and id is needed.

  3. I have (or am getting) an EASA licence, how to I transfer State from the UK to ensure I have an EASA licence for ever?
    Assuming you know why you want to transfer, the process is known as SOLI, State of Licence Issue. Google 'CAA SOLI transfer' and follow the process after picking which EASA State you want to own your EASA licence. Many pick Eire. You will need to supply all sorts of certified copies, and if you have a UK EASA PPL, you might want to ask the CAA for a UK national PPL too if you haven't got one already. Remember FE authorities do not automatically transfer, they are Nationally awarded.

  4. Can I get a LAPL medical and use it with an NPPL or Older PPL as an EASA licence?
    Here is a table explaining validity of different licences, ratings and medicals: Paperwork Combinations

  5. How do I get an English Language assessment so that I can apply for an EASA licence?
    There have been pilots I know who have already got an English Language assessment at the permanent level (6) without knowing it, so maybe contacting the CAA with your CAA reference number and asking what your level is would save some time and effort. Otherwise, you can get a language assessment from a radio test, a flight test, or a ground assessment with Flight Examiner if you are 'English Native'

  6. How do I find the EASA documents which make the rules for private flying?
    It's incredibly confusing. Here's a table with my description of the sort of information you get in each. It is important to read the last one (CAA interpretation of the rules) even if you have read the black and white 'EASA FCL' as this is subject to the influence of 'Accetable Means of Compliance' and 'Bridging Agreements'. Just for example, to illustrate how confusing things can get, you will find it quite clearly stated in EASA FCL that the holder of a LAPL cannot take passengers after licence issue until 10 hours solo Pilot in Command time has been completed post LAPL issue. Quite clear? No! If you have a LAPL issued as a conversion from another licence, the UK conversion document (accepted by EASA and therefore legal) say these 10 hours before taking passengers post LAPL issue can be credited from previous flying on the previous licence. Anyway, with that idea in mind, here are the documents:
    Link Title Summary
    EASA FCL "EASA FCL" This is the core of the rules regulating all EASA licences and ratings. For example, you could read up on the privileges of (different sorts of) the LAPL, or LAPL validity rules, revalidation rules for SEP ratings, or definitions of terms, just for example, what 'aerobatic flight' means. It is not the whole story though. Separate documents such as 'Conversion Reports' would tell you how to get a specific licence from an old licence, AMC documents would perhaps give a list of what actual features on an aircraft require differences training. training
    FCL Guidance "EASA FCL Acceptable Means of Compliance and Guidance" This is where much more of the detail lies. It usually cross references to EASA FCL above. SO, for example, FCL above talks about needing differences training for complexities. It doesn't name the complexities. This document does. I assume this is so they can change this document if we got a new 'complexity' without having to put FCL through the whole law making process for one change.
    Easy Access "EASA FCL Easy Access Rules" Supposedly easy read for flight crew licensing - warning, over 1300 pages.....
    UK CAA Interpretation of Rules "CAP 804" - the replacement for LASORS Remember LASORS?? (all the licensing questions answered IF you knew what the question was!) CAP804 is the CAA's view of the rules, for national licences and rules and EASA licences and rules.

  7. Can I fly UK microlights on an EASA licence (eg: EASA LAPL)?
    Yes, our Air Navigation Order is the place that allows non-EASA aircraft to be flown by 'foreign' licences OR any EASA licence providing it has 'SEP' privileges and if the pilot wants to fly microlights, they are specifically mentioned as coming under the scope providing the pilot has undergone microlight differences training for microlights. Note the hours in 3 axis microlights can count towards SEP revalidation in Non-EASA UK PPLs, BUT if you have SEP in an EASA PPL, or an EASA LAPL(A), you can include 3 axis microlight Pilot in Command hours in the requirements, BUT not any training flights in microlights.

  8. For a revalidation by experience (for SEP(land) and/or TMG ratings) has anything changed under EASA?
    Firstly, nothing has changed in the revalidation area for NPPL ratings (such as SSEA, Microlight or SLMG) except they can be revalidated to the end of the month 2 years ahead instead of the same date two years ahead, but remember these cannot be used to fly EASA aircraft now.
    For SEP or TMG ratings, the main revalidation flying requirements (12 hours, etc) have only changed in one respect. If your SEP rating is in a UK non-EASA PPL and you have microlight differences training, you can count '3-axis' microlight hours for revalidation by experience. In 2020 it will become possible to use 3 axis microlight hours to contribute partially towards EASA PPL SEP revalidation (or LAPL validity checking), but the microlight hours that count will only be p1 hours, the training hour will have to be in SEP aircraft.
    When you ask for your revalidation on any rating, it is now revalidated to an 'end of the month' date
    As far as who can sign the SEP/TMG rating for revalidation (which still must be before it expires, but now can be anytime in the final 12 months or the rating once the flying aspects are completed), it's best to see either a UK flight examiner or, if the instructor who completed your one hour of training included in your 12 hours for revalidation, he or she can sign the rating if they have 'FCL.945' mentioned in their licence. However, surprisingly non-UK EASA examiners and FCL.945 instructors CANNOT sign your revalidation by experience, it has to be a UK examiner or 945 instructor.
  9. I live in the UK and operate an 'N' reg aircraft based here, with an FAA licence. Does EASA licensing effect me?
    Amazingly, yes. If your N-reg aircraft would be classified as an EASA aircraft if you registered it under the G registration, AND it is based in the UK now, you do need either an EASA licence to fly it or an EASA validation. If you wanted to fly it outside the UK, you would need your FAA licences too.
  10. What is happening about the UK IMC Rating?
    You can now only use an IMC rating in non-EASA aircraft to the limit that the aircraft certification allows. For EASA purposes, the UK has invented an I/R(R) (instrument rating restricted) for EASA licences, and this is exactly the same as an IMC rating, except it is allowed to be placed in an EASA licence and used in G-reg EASA aircraft in the UK.
  11. How do I keep my LAPL(A) valid?
    There's HUGE confusion about LAPLs by pilots who have them! I have even had 4 pilots on the same day approach me for LAPL rating revalidation signatures or concerned they didn't have a 'rating expiry date', which demonstrates they really don't understand what they have 'bought'. Unless you have some extra ratings, like Night, Aeros, etc, you will have quite a few blank pages where ratings and expiry dates would be expected. The LAPL does not work with aircraft ratings in the normal sense. If you look under privileges on page 4 of your licence, you will probably see SEP(land) listed, or maybe TMG, which shows you what sort of aircraft you can fly. However, SEP or TMG will NOT appear with an expiry date anywhere as a rating. There is no specific rating expiry date to work towards, instead YOU are responsible for sorting out your own validity before EVERY flight. Before a flight, you must convince YOURSELF that you have logged the 2 yearly requirements in the 24 months before each flight, on aircraft you are entitled to fly. The NEW requirements from 11/11/2019 are:
    • A LAPL proficiency check with a flight examiner (same content as the initial LAPL skills test) in the 24 months before any flight
    • 12 hours in the 24 months before any flight including at least 12 take offs and 12 landings. These hours (and landings) can be P1 or Pu/t, but one hour at least must be Pu/t (but all of them could be). Note that, )assuming the pilots is legal in microlights), P1 hours in 3 axis microlights can count to any p1 totals required, BUT Pu/t in microlights does NOT count.
    Note 90 day rules still apply for taking passengers.
    So what happens if you find you do not have the 12 hours or perhaps the 12 take offs and landings before your intended p1 flight? If you haven't got this, do NOT go flying as p1. You can make up the hours or take offs and landings with an instructor, or if that would be expensive due to the hours needed, simply have a LAPL Proficiency Check with a flight examiner, and then you do not need to worry about LAPL validity for the next 2 years.
  12. I have a foreign (non EU, not EASA state) PPL and wish to convert to an EASA licence. Can I do it?
    It is possible to get a one year 'validation' without converting immediately if your licence is otherwise fully valid for flying the EASA aircraft you wish to fly. Foreign (non-EASA ICAO PPLs e.g. FAA, SA, etc) are not valid in 'G' registered EASA aircraft until the following process has been completed:
    FAA PPLs: use the process outlined in CAA form SRG2140.
    Other foreign non-EASA PPLs flying fewer than 28 days per year, their process is in CAA form SRG2141, or form CAA SRG2139 if flying 28 days or more each year. Then you have 1 year to convert to an EASA licence but can fly in the meantime within the privileges of your home licence.
    All should apply for licence verification via form SRG2142.
    Conversion: If the foreign (non EASA) licence is not fully valid, you could well have major problems if you want an EASA PPL. Our UK CAA say that EASA will not let them convert a foreign PPL at all unless the pilot has 100 hours total flight time and the licence is fully valid for flight in the 'home' country. So if you have an SA, or Oz, or FAA PPL, everything in it needs to be valid before the CAA will convert it - your foreign SEP rating or privileges must be valid, and you must have the foreign medical current too. which is ridiculous considering you will have just obtained an EASA medical to convert and perhaps never use the foreign licence again.
  13. I'm an instructor but still only have a pre JAR UK licence. Is this OK?
    It depends. On non EASA aircraft YES, but for EASA aircraft NO. UK non-EASA licences are not valid for piloting EASA aircraft.

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